THE Scottish Greens are considering cutting ties with their English and Welsh counterparts amid an ongoing row around transphobia.

The move follows figures in the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) branding their Scottish counterparts a “cabal”.

It came after the Scottish Greens Women's Network, Rainbow Greens, and Scottish Young Greens raised issued a statement accusing the GPEW of harbouring “transphobia”. It urged the party’s leaders to “finally” take action against office-bearers contradicting the party’s “trans inclusive policies agreed by the majority of the membership”.

“We again assert that trans rights and women’s rights are the same struggle, not conflicting ones,” they added.

The comments had apparently been aimed at top Green figures, including a former deputy leader, and a member of the House of Lords.

Emma Bateman, the co-chair of Green Party Women south of the Border, further alleged that criticism had been aimed at her for signing the “Women's Declaration International (WDI)”.

READ MORE: Row as 'UK Government appointees tell Scotland how to legislate' on trans rights

Aimed at making rights “sex-based”, this makes nine demands, including for trans women to be blocked from using “opportunities and protections that were specifically created to help women” in the political sphere, and for “medical research aimed at enabling men to gestate and give birth to children … to be eliminated”.

The Scottish Green bodies claimed that endorsing the WDI amounted to Bateman “asking [for] the removal of all rights trans people currently have under the European Convention on Human Rights”.

In response, Emma Bateman, the co-chair of Green Party Women south of the Border, branded the Scottish Green party a “cabal”.

The National:

This was shared by Jenny Jones, a Green member of the House of Lords who has spoken in “favour of female trans prisoners being held in the male prison estate”, according to the Scottish Greens groups.

It was also endorsed by Shahrar Ali, a failed GPEW leadership candidate who is currently the party’s “spokesperson [for] policing and domestic safety” according to his Twitter.

The description on Ali’s social media does not make clear he is using it in a personal capacity, causing concern that his endorsement of Bateman’s criticism was the official view of the GPEW.

Guy Ingerson, the vice co-convener of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Greens who penned the motion on suspending ties with the GPEW, said the comments had been “highly disrespectful” to the Scottish party.

READ MORE: Steph Paton: This GRA obsession saw other Green policy wins overshadowed

Condemning “transphobic rhetoric and conduct”, Ingerson also highlighted previous conflict between the two parties around motions deemed competent by the GPEW that “ignored our independence as a party and would seek to legislate in devolved competencies”.

His resulting motion reads: “The Scottish Green Party (SGP) hereby suspends our formal association with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) with immediate effect.

“The suspension of this association will remain in effect until such time that action is taken that satisfies the membership of the Scottish Green Party, through Conference or SGP Council, to address both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green party, our independence as a party, and the devolution settlement.”

The motion will be considered by the Scottish Greens’ party council on March 5, and potentially put to members for a vote at the spring conference in the same month, or at an emergency general meeting (EGM).

The Scottish Greens told this paper that the parties are not “anywhere near the point of cutting ties”, but said the decision would ultimately be “for members”.

Ingerson said that the prospect of his motion being passed has “spurred talks between both parties to find a way forward”. “It is my hope that between now and March 5 actions will be taken to make this motion unnecessary,” he added.

The National:

The Scottish Greens’ equalities spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP (above with party co-leader Patrick Harvie), said: “The Scottish Greens have been clear we have a zero-tolerance approach to transphobia and we are leading the moves toward long-overdue reform of the GRA in Scotland.

“We stand in solidarity with all those in the Green Party of England and Wales who are working to ensure their party lives up to its own policy commitments to defend the rights of trans people. It’s important that those with spokesperson roles reflect the views of the party’s membership.

“All political parties have the responsibility to take seriously the rise in hate crimes committed against LGBTQI+ people and the reported increase in transphobia in particular. We must work together to secure the rights and protections of vulnerable minority groups.”

A GPEW spokesperson said: "The Green Party of England and Wales values dearly the relationship we hold with our sister party, the Scottish Greens, and we are proud of the aims and values that we share in furthering the Green cause across the UK.

"The Green Party of England and Wales is clear that trans rights are human rights and we are proud of our strong policies on trans inclusion.

"It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all - that means campaigning for the rights of trans people, as well as women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done."